Karoz needed to talk to someone about his theories concerning the collages he just reviewed, but there was no one left in town that he knew well. Baker Bloch and Baker Blinker had disappeared. Hucka Doobie had already given him his assignment, which he was attempting to carry out. Carrcassonnee seemed finished with him too for the moment. There was always Furry Karl, but the bar was still closed for some reason. No one here. Then Karoz realized he could ask Wheeler to join him. Dare he?
“It pleases me that you’ve changed, Karoz. Baker Blinker is happier too. When she comes back you will be rewarded. She has entered the blue and the grey. Civil War.”
“What does that mean, Wheeler?”
“It means one comes out a victor and one does not. It’s always about directions. But we’ve not come here to discuss that particular subject. Blinks can wait. Collages are up. I’m trying to help. I’m trying to further the Collagesity cause. So spit it out.” She then softens her voice. “Please.”
“Very good,” says Karoz. “Well, I understand that *you* understand the nexus. Where everything links together.”
“True enough,” responds Wheeler. She takes another sip of her 4 shot latte. Starbuccarina is still guarding the portal next door, but they were nevertheless able to retrieve the drinks from her. Good ol’ Starbuccarina. She’s a winner, Wheeler thinks. Not just a mere creation of fairyland.
“I’ve studied the collages in Falmouth, Red Umbrella, and Boos tonight. I believe Hucka Doobie is telling me to go back to Stonethwaite. I went there once before. To retrieve Story Room, or attempt to retrieve them. They were suppose to teach the course at my Noru college called “Composing with the Colors Red, Yellow, and Blue.”
“True enough,” says Wheeler again.
“I think they are me in summary. Me as baker b.”
“Yes,” she says. She is wise in this way.
“It’s the three ways I create music, or created music. Because I don’t really do it any longer.”
“No,” she says. “That should change. Spongeberg[ is here to help].”
“Anyway, I am the 4th. I realize that. The other three are improvisation — blue; chromagraphs — that’s red; and then yellow is composing in the regular or normal way by ear, something I do naturally since I was a kid. [The word] ear is between the yellow guys’ legs in that Falmouth collage. No. 12 I believe.
“Wait, I’m checking now and it’s 11.”
“Not really that important,” responds Wheeler. “Go on. You are the 4th, yes.”
“Yes,” replies Wheeler. “That’s me!” she then exclaims.
“I suppose so,” he says, not joining her in raised voices.
“I’m sorry that you do not approve of my important hobby, but Blinks does and that’s the important thing I’ll say about that right now. To you.”
This is the kind of stuff Karoz didn’t want to deal with tonight. He wanted to focus on the collages and his assignment. Yet here was Wheeler, trying to draw him into the entanglement. He resisted for now. He wanted to see his analysis through. *Then* he would ask some questions about all that.
“Back to Stonethwaite. I think I can enter it through (he checks the number again) Falmouth 36. Master Shake opened that portal a while back in Collagesity Noru.”
“He’s just Master here,” Wheeler corrected. “But he holds the keys to the Civil War and which way it will flip. Depends on if he has one of those General Grants in his back pocket still.” She stifles a grin, but then wonders if she should have said President Lincoln there instead.
“Alright, I’ll take your word for it.” Karoz was trying not to get sidetracked still. “But that’s where the opening occurred before,” he repeats. “I just walk into the collage and I’m in Stonethwaite, just like [I did] in Noru. I can talk to Story Room that way; get their story. Hucka Doobie says to talk to the one without a head, so I’ll have to check that. Might be the blue guy.”
“Steptoe,” responds Wheeler firmly. “Use to date. He was something of a perv.”
“Yes, that was his name. Or is.” Karoz let the ‘perv’ description stand as is without further comment.
“So it’s settled,” says Wheeler. “You go to Stonethwaite again. You know how to do it. Anything else tonight? I’ve got to get back to my training.” She thought of asking something else but held back. Karoz didn’t need to go in that direction.